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August 09, 2004

Babar a ‘scapegoat’ to help Bush’s re-election, says father

The father of Babar Ahmad has made a passionate appeal for his son to tried in a British court in relation to the “wild and ridiculous” allegations made in last week’s request by the US for his extradition.

Ashfaq Ahmad said that he did not “trust” US courts and that his re-arrest was politically motivated to support President George W Bush’s re-election campaign. “My son is being used as a scapegoat for the US elections,” he said. “If he has committed a crime, why shouldn’t he be tried here,” his father told Ahmed J Versi, editor of The Muslim News in an exclusive interview.

His 30-year old son was remanded in custody for a week after appearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court on Friday following his re-arrest on a US extradition warrant. He was first arrested by anti-terrorist police 8 months ago but was released six days later without charge.

Speaking at a Stop Police Terror conference in south-west London on Sunday, Ashfaq Ahmad said that his son was being treated “like some kind of fugitive to be put through a Kangaroo court” in the US. “If someone living in this country uses their computer to break into a US government computer system, they are charged and tried in this country,” he said in relation to the allegations made. “No one has ever been extradited,” he said.

In his interview with The Muslim News, his father spoke about the nightmare his family was living through but was adamant about Babar’s innocence and that his family would fight to obtain his release. “Under such circumstances, we are trying to be strong. We are very concerned about Babar, his health and we are praying to Allah to give him sabr (patience),” he said.

His son still has complaints filed with the Police Complaints Commission from the injuries allegedly sustained by security forces when he was first arrested last December. “He has pain in his kidneys and he still has nightmares of his ordeals suffered,” his father said. Despite the current trauma, he suggested that the family was “able to cope better this time from the raids as we had gone through it in December,” he said.

Full interview will appear in the next issue of The Muslim News later this month.

For further information contact us on 020 8863 8586 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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